The Malik Report
by George Malik on 07/18/14 at 12:51 PM ET
This afternoon's crop of Red Wings-related stories are a little bit repetitious, but that's not a bad thing per se.
Second, Pavel Datsyuk's hockey school continued in the Moscow suburb of Zelenograd today...
And it's always interesting to read the Russian press "transcribe" interviews, because they can yield very different intonations. Yesterday's R-Sport and Sportbox interviews give way to a Russia-2 video posted on SportBox and a set of interviews that Datsyuk gave to Sovetsky Sport, and let's say that Sovetsky Sport gave Datsyuk's words an economy of text.
First, Sergei Bergishev spoke with Datsyuk regarding the condition of his right knee (and what follows is roughly translated):
Question: How is your injured knee?
Datsyuk: "I'm working on it, doing rehabilitation. But it's not entirely healed. But there is progress. And I hope that by the beginning of the season, I will be 100% ready."
Question: Why was Detroit so passive on the free agent marketplace?
Datsyuk: "Yes, we were sluggish from the start line to the first 100 meters. I hope that we can catch up by the finish. Although there were very frew free agents."
Question: Can your team expect to win the Stanley Cup?
Datsyuk: "There is a chance, but only if you don't have a lot of injuries. Last year our youth scored, pulled the team along. But, of course, it would be easier if we'd signed experienced players."
Question: "Last year, you said that your new contract ravaged Detroit..." [as a joke]
Datsyuk: "Gradually, the city's begun to retun to its former life. There's work, people are coming back. I'm not saying that everything is good, but it's not as bad as it was."
Bergishev also asked Datsyuk about his youngest daughter...
The correspondent of Sovetsky Sport asked Pavel Datsyuk how he feels about his newly-born daughter.
"We named her Vasilisa. Her health is okay. I really miss her, but soon I'll see her again."
Again, the World Cup of soccer...
Famous Russian forward Pavel Datsyuk spoke about the World Cup, which concluded recently in Brazil.
"I only watched Russia play against Algeria. It looked good until we scored. Ahnd then...I believed in our team until the end."
How did the bets with your friends go in this World Cup in Brazil?
"Debts. I had picked Brazil and Holland, and they let us down. But eight years ago, in the same sweepstakes, I remember, got rich."
And his recollections regarding Sovetsky Sport during its 90th anniversary. This involves a TON of colloquialisms, so it's not going to come across very well:
"Ever since I became aquainted with Sovetsky Sport, a lot of water has passed under the bridge," said Datsyuk. "And you can only congratulate the fact that in such a difficult time [for newspapers], the newspaper is still afloat and is popular with readers. And I understnad that it's not easy to do so in the fight with the internet."
"Is there a Sovetsky Sport in my childhood memories? Yes, I remember the men who watched the games of my youth team, I wrapped fish with those." Datsyuk was joking as usual in his incomparable style. "Of course, I saw the newspaper on the shelves, but I didn't have a chance to read it. I was constantly training, cleaning the snow off the rink, making ice. All my thoughts were only about hockey."
"Do I remember the first note about myself in Sovetsky Sport? Only that it was under the headline, 'Wanted!'" Again, Datsyuk's humor. "'Lost boy in skates and a stick.' In fact, unfortunately, I can't remember. But receiving the Sovetsky Sport award the Kharlamov Trophy in 2011 and 2013, I still remember with pleasure. I'm very glad that the newspaper's introduced me to the family of Vladimir Boris Kharlamov. And how did you come up with recreating the picture, 'Mikhalov-Petrov-Kharlamov-and-yogurt' with my participation in it, worthy of the highest praise? Glad and honored to take the place of Valery Boris Kharlamov in the picture. But frankly, such attention is embarrassing. After all, where Kharlamov, and where Datsyuk, Datsyuk's not much...But I was very pleased to be in such stellar company."
Also in a repetitious-but-good vein, the Ted Lindsay Foundation is holding a "Hockeyfest" at the Canton, MI Kroger tomorrow from 11 AM to 3 PM, and Lindsay appeared on WDIV this morning, discussing both his golf outing and tomorrow's events:
Otherwise...Pro Hockey Talk's Ryan Dadoun took note of one more quip from Mike Babcock's interview on Detroit Sports 105.1 FM yesterday--a comment in which Babcock addressed his relationships with his players:
The Red Wings bench boss added that he cares about his players and wants to see them do things the right way.
“We just have the hard meetings,” Babcock said. “We get it out front. Does it piss people off once in a while? Absolutely. But it also leads to behavioral changes and getting things better. So you know what, I’m not apologizing for that stuff at all. I like to be treated honest.”
Winging it in Motown did something I should've regarding Andrej Nestrasil and Mitchell Callahan's 1-year extensions...
Callahan will earn $555,000 at the NHL level, $90,000 at the AHL level, and he received a $5,000 signing bonus, so his cap hit is his NHL salary, $555K. Nestrasil will earn $550,000 at the NHL level, $82,500 at the AHL level, and he did not receive a signing bonus. His cap hit's $550K.
Winging it in Motown's Kyle McIlmurray also examined Tomas Jurco's rookie campaign, and he came to the following conclusion given that Jurco's facing a roster crunch this September:
Will he start in Detroit this season? I'm doubtful.. Will he end up in Detroit later on? Absolutely. I don't think the team will be able to stay as healthy as everyone anticipates. My prediction is that Jurco sees 50 games in the NHL this year. Don't forget that after this season, he will no longer be waiver-exempt and will be a restricted free agent. My hopes is that by then, Jurco's game is much more refined and he can make a push to be the top-six winger that he can be.
In news of the list-making variety, Sportsnet's Luke Fox "ranked" each and every one of the NHL's back-up goaltenders, and he has this to say about Jonas Gustavsson, who ranks as a "Tier 4: Serviceable Veteran" netminder on Fox's list:
Jonas Gustavsson, Detroit Red Wings: Detroit was determined to bring back Gustavsson in order to give Petr Mrazek another year to develop in the minors. The 29-year-old Swede has never quite lived up to the hype he generated coming into the NHL, but he impressed Mike Babcock last season. Red Wings fans would like to see Gustavsson improve on his .907 save percentage though.
And finally, the Stanley Cup's made its circuit through Europe and is heading back to North America, and the Macomb Daily's Paul Kampe notes that it should appear in Michigan at least once this summer, if not twice, given that Matt Greene's from Grand Ledge:
While the Cup has already been to several east coast locations in the United States, it has not yet been to the Great Lakes State. There is hope, however. Los Angeles Kings forward Alec Martinez is a Rochester Hills native.
Martinez, a Stoney Creek High School graduate, became the first Michigan-born player to score the game-winning goal in the Stanley Cup Final last month when he netted a double-overtime winner against the New York Rangers.
Update: Via Paul, the Tennessean's Josh Cooper has this to say about the damn David Legwand trade:
When the Predators traded forward David Legwand, it was an absolute 'must' for the team. Legwand was 33 years old, at the end of his contract, and it was time for a fresh start.
The Predators got two usable assets for Legwand in rookie center Calle Jarnkrok and a second round pick.
When I first saw Jarnkrok in a Predators jersey, the deal looked like a steal. He seemed mature beyond his years, smart, and knew how to play both ends of the rink.
Today the trade looks even better.
In a bare center market, Legwand got a two-year $6 million deal from the Ottawa Senators. The Predators were never going to pay that, and honestly shouldn't pay a contract like that to an aging second liner.
The Predators paid a combined $2.05 million for Derek Roy and Mike Ribeiro to cement their top two lines -- both contracts are excellent values.
If anything, free agency showed us even more that general manager David Poile made the right move in dealing Legwand when he did, and getting the haul he needed.
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